How Did You Learn?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by cutbetterthanyou, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I Was Just On The Icpi Website And There 2 Day Course And Cert. Said That It Is For People That Have 1 Year Experience. I Have Also Been To Ep Henry And Theres Is Kind Of The Same. I Was Wondering If Anyone Offered I Class For People W/ No Experience @ All. Right Now I Don't Care About The Cert. I Just Want To Learn How To Do It With Out Mess Up On A Customer Place I Don't Even Know If I Will Like It But I Am Trying To Branch Out From Lawn Care Into Something Else. How Did You Guys Learn How Lay Pavers And Do Walls?
     
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Don't Capitolize Every Word, It's Annoying!

    I learned like most everyone else. I worked for and with people that knew how to do it. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and after working for a handful of people you can put together a style of your own.

    If you don't want to quit cutting grass to go to work for someone else, and have no other way to learn (hire someone that can teach you?), then you probably should stick to what you know.... Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I've seen WAY too much total crap on here from guys who should stick to mowing.
     
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    How did i learn hardscapes? I basically taught myself. The fundamentals behind hardscaping are simple.

    When i was 17 i did some yard work for a home owner. He previously hired some mexicans (day workers) to build a retaining wall. It was falling a part and he ask if i wanted to rebuild it. I spent about 5 minutes reading the tech diagram in the manufactures brochure and dove right into that wall and never looked back.

    Maybe it was easier for me. I had a pretty extensive construction background. I'd been working for a house framer since i was 13. I knew what a level was and how to use it. I really belive that knowledge of basic construction techniques are a major help.

    I taught myself pavers on my own. I read alot of the net and then a mason i knew subed me a 1000 sq ft patio. It was my first time. But i knew i needed a surface that was FLAT with no divits or high spots. I knew i needed proper pitch. I knew i need proper base. If you read the installation guys and follow exactly what it says you can not mess up. The thing is guys get lazy. They get fed up with messing with the base and say 'screw it'.

    Honestly, if you have no construction background and you can't go work for someone else, i'd stick with mowing. Mowing is just as lucrative as paving. You can do mowing, fert, mulching, bed maintanence, etc. There is alot of money to be made their and it is just as profitable as pavers. And you won't need any 40k skid steers and 60k dump trucks!

    Just my 2 cents.

    Matt
     
  4. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    If you are willing to invest to learn than this might be the way for you to go. Visit http://www.paverschool.com/ They charge a good amount for their classes, but its far cheaper than taking on a job that you are not qualified to do. My advice is to learn all you can, search around there are always basic paver classed held though you local supplier and manufacturers. Try some small projects at home and for family and friends. That's where i started when i was 14 laying some free pavers at home my dad got at his job site. Good luck, this site will definitely help.
     
  5. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    THANKS FOR THE ADVISE I GUESS, BUT YOU KNOW YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SUCH I SMART ASS. AS FOR THE CAPITAL LETTERS ITS DOING IT BY ITSELF I DON'T KNOW WHY AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT STOP. AND I DON'T KNOW OR CARE WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN OUT OF IDIOTS ON HERE THAT HAVE FAILED. I AM NOT THEM I DON'T FAIL I SUCEED THAT IS WHY I HAVE WHAT I HAVE @ 23 . AM ASKING YOU GUYS HOW TO GET TRAINING TO DO IT CORRECTLY BECAUSE IF I CAN'T DO IT RIGHT I WILL NOT DO IT!
     
  6. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    Mckee And Mrusk Thanks For The Advise And Actually Answering My Question .i Have Done Just A Little Rectangle Patio Here @ My Home It Turn Out Good(all Level No Gaps Or Water Laying) But I Am A Little Worried About Doing Anything Any Bigger. I Don't Know How To Make It Perfect So That It All Drains An Has No Pockets The Place I Did Was Only 12x16.
     
  7. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    Laser level and string lines. If your going to take it serious you should invest in a laser level with a laser detector. you don't need the most expensive one on the market, just a dependable and somewhat accurate one. This will help shoot your elevations and determine your pitch and set the string lines.
     
  8. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    Is that school online only? I guess I didnt read it really good, but I was blown away when I saw Pat O'Hara as a teacher. I know him personally and he lives 2 miles down the road from me. I didn't know he did that stuff!
     
  9. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    First off, if it's beyond your control, I'm sorry. Spend some any amount of time on any internet forum anywhere, and you'll quickly figure out that it is truly annoying, and most of the time people are in full control of it but just don't realize just how annoying it is...

    Now.... Don't ask a question you don't want an answer to.

    You asked "how did I learn?" I told you how I learned. I then suggested you either go work for someone else to learn, or possibly hire someone to teach you. That was my advice on how to learn. It's there, go read it.

    As for my smarta$$ comments, keep it up and you will get more. An attitude like you are coming off with is not one that will get you very far in a service industry like this one.

    It is good that you want to succeed, and good that you realize that if you can't do it right, you shouldn't do it. Keep that attitude, but loose the cockiness. Ask questions, that's what we are here for. Just be prepared for some of us to call a spade a spade if that's how we see it. I don't generally sugarcoat things on here. I'm not on here much any more (though I'm going to be trying to check in from time to time), and I don't have time to sugarcoat...
     
  10. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    ARE THEY COMPLICATED TO USE OR PRETTY EASY? WHAT IS A GOOD BRAND? WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN ONE? IS THERE ANY OTHER MAJOR TOOLS BESIDES A TAMP OR SAW?
     

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